Market Capitalism and Caring for “the Least of These” – in All things
Earlier this year Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation, The Joy of the Gospel, received a lot of attention from the mass media, so I decided to read it. I started reading it and my spirits were immediately lifted by the exuberance of the opening pages. The joy of the gospel about which Pope Francis speaks so eloquently in his apostolic exhortation comes from living one’s life in Christ. A most significant part of that life of joy comes in loving our neighbor, especially that neighbor who is one of the least that Christ talks of in Matthew 25 with such compassion. How we can best love and serve that neighbor is not always easy to determine in our modern economy but a look at the Pope’s discussion of the social dimensions of the gospel, especially his emphasis on the workings of the free market and its exploitation of the poor, might give us some direction.
Some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. There are theologians who argue that the poor benefit greatly by a capitalistic system. If we took a survey of poverty around the world, I suspect we would find it difficult to discern a measurable trickle-down effect from modern capitalism. Certainly statistics on American wealth and poverty indicate that the top 1 or 5 percent are getting wealthier, almost everyone else is getting poorer, and income disparity of astounding proportions is still wretchedly apparent. What concerns me as a Christian, is the way so many Christians preach Free Market capitalism as if it is a doctrine of the Christian faith.
Most Christians I encounter who are in business or banking or business education at the college level or a part of that amorphous group called the Religious Right view the Free Market with benign acceptance. For them, John Schneider and Novak speak with more authority than the Pope or Kuyper.
Poverty Capitalism: Interview with Ananya Roy
Ananya Roy: Microfinance is one of those rare poverty alleviation ideas whose popularity cuts across the ideological spectrum. Proponents of social justice have hailed microfinance as an instrument to fight the redlining of the poor by exclusionary financial institutions. Although microfinance is not a substantial sector in the budgets of multilateral and bilateral donors, it is quite literally everywhere in the world of development, repeatedly touted as a poverty panacea. New portals of development, such as Kiva.org, have also made it possible for the globally minded citizens of the global North to feel an immediate and intimate connection to microfinance and to the poor women who are most often microfinance borrowers. There are at least two distinct paradigms at work within the world of microfinance: one where microfinance is a global financial industry and an increasingly profitable asset class; the second where microfinance is a part of an overall package of pro-poor development.
Ananya Roy: Yes, this is a fundamental contradiction that lies at the heart of microfinance, and indeed many other poverty-alleviation efforts as well. Many proponents of microfinance see it as an alternative to state-led development, and as testament to the entrepreneurial efforts of the poor. Ananya Roy: Microfinance bears many of the characteristics of subprime lending. Very few genres of microfinance tackle such issues; those that do not systematically depoliticize the question of poverty. Josh Leon: Microfinance has long been applied in rural settings, an obvious place to look for the world’s poor.
Ananya Roy: Many poverty alleviation interventions have been developed and implemented in rural areas-such as the famous conditional cash transfer programs of Mexico and Brazil and the microfinance programs of Bangladesh. Ananya Roy: Your poetic question is about microfinance but it also speaks to broader trends-to millennial challenges and hopes.
why is capitalism good
That’s why i think capitalism has it’s strong propaganda too and i don’t see any different between propaganda’s of capitalism and socialism. If we analyze their situation we see that good socialism is better than bad capitalism while socialism is for people and not for millionaires. Yes today i think that good socialism is better than bad capitalism, but if someone will ask me which one is better for me, as person who born in post-soviet union country i choose Socialism for my country while capitalism failed in eastern European countries. The main argument that says capitalism is bad goes like this: people need to be controlled or the greedy and the powerful will use the good hard-working people of the earth and destroy the earth while they are at it. To understand why capitalism is good consider the alternative.
Capitalism like democracy believes that men are basically good and when they act on their enlighten self-interest society as a whole is lifted to a higher level, just compare North Korea and South Korea. I live in Eastern Europe in a ex-communist country and for anyone who thinks capitalism is wrong or evil or does not work, should come here and see what the alternatives to capitalism did to the people of many countries. It should be noted that crony capitalism should not be confused with true capitalism. As outlandish as this may seem, capitalism is a good thing, maybe not the best system to have, but it is the best one we have got. The current American system of capitalism is rife with discrimination, sexism, and willingness to not reward people for their hard work.
True capitalism does not discriminate, if two people do the same of work, then they should get the same amount of pay, regardless of gender, race, or anything else. Capitalism is a good thing as it provides us all a motivation and a chance to succeed; and don’t think for a minute that what we have today is capitalist, because it is not.